John 3:16– 16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
In the 1st Sunday Teaching of Love, we learned that Love is defined as “profound affection which compels one to demonstrate their perception of ones value”. We see the practical dimension of this realised in the verse mentioned above.
In Philippians 2:3-4 Mankind is challenged to love. The Message bible lays out a comprehensive instruction.
2 1-4 If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.
Christ says Love your neighbor as yours. Note that the kind of love he refers to is contrary to our human nature. The God-kind of love is “Others” focused, it seeks to make people feel valuable. In order to help those who feel rejected and lonely, He draws close to them or rather draws them close to Him.
Psalm146:7-9– 7 He helps those who have a bad power over them. He gives food to the hungry. And He sets those in prison free. 8 The Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord raises up those who are brought down. The Lord loves those who are right and good. 9 The Lord keeps the strangers safe. He takes care of the children who have no father and the woman whose husband has died. But He destroys the way of the sinful.
Lets learn from this! 🙂
The God-kind of love helps us to see in others what others cannot. By the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, God sees us through the right standing of His only begotten Son (Hallelujah!).
Ephesian2:6– 6 For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus.
So God’s love is drawn the most to those who are farthest from Him and in need.
Roman 8:32- 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?
Isaiah 40:29-30 Explains how the love of our God works:
29 He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. 30 Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted;
- The God kind of love cannot be used on ones self.
- The object of this love must be another.
- This God kind of love is always seeking out the needs of others. It gives!
Please note that we can give without loving, but cannot love without giving. It is love that fills us with the desire to reflect our perception of peoples values.
1Corinthians 13: 1-3– If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
How ever crazy a person; how ever bad, reckless or hopeless a case, there is still a part of God in him or her, therefore whatever God does not deserve, neither does that individual.
Matthew 25:37-45– 37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ 41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ 44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ 45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
The greatest weakness of love is Selfishness (The “I” syndrome). The fall of Lucifer is a perfect example of how “I” corrupts the beauty of God in us.
Isaiah 14:13-14– 13 For you said to yourself, ‘I will ascend to heaven and set my throne above God’s stars. I will preside on the mountain of the gods far away in the north. 14 I will climb to the highest heavens and be like the Most High.’
Works of the flesh are all products of selfishness. It is the root of what is wrong in mankind. We cannot work in love without breaking free from this character.
Galatians 5:19-21– 19 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
How do we break free from this trait of selfishness? Galatians 5:22-26 sheds light on the question:
22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. 25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. 26 Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.
- It is the duty of the Holy Spirit to help us break free from these bad fruits!
- Its takes the Holy Spirit to for us not compromise as christian.
- It takes the Holy Spirit to enable us think about others 1st
Sacrifice is the true measure of love. John 3:16 tells us how Christ laid down his life out of love for us, but lets see what 1 John 3:16-18 tells us about how we should act out of this same love.
16 We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person? 18 Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.
Give, not just physically means, but spiritually. Share the gospel; give emotional support. A smile or a kind word, or even some common knowledge is worth being shared if it will impact the life of another positively. When we give selflessly and sacrificially we see that we in turn will never lack.
Proverbs 11:25– The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.
Finally, let us be reminded that there are so many people out there in need of this love. The needy, the ignorant, the helpless, the hopeless, the widow, the orphan, they and a host of others need us to show them the true God-Like love.
Let’s not just love in words, but in deeds…